Oprah Winfrey opens up about why she's never married partner-of-34-years Stedman Graham

Amy West
Oprah Winfrey has opened up about why she's never married partner-of-34-years Stedman Graham (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/FilmMagic)

Oprah Winfrey has revealed why she’s never married partner-of-34-years Stedman Graham - despite technically accepting his proposal back in 1993.

In a candid piece published in the February issue of her lifestyle magazine O, the US chat show legend claimed the pair would not be together today had they tied the knot two decades ago.

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“I realised I didn’t actually want a marriage. I wanted to be asked,” she recalled, looking back on when Graham popped the question. “I wanted to know he felt I was worthy of being his missus, but I didn’t want the sacrifices, the compromises, the day-in-day-out commitment required to make a marriage work.”

The 65-year-old went on to say that Graham has also known that The Oprah Winfrey Show was her “priority” and that their relationship works because he has a life and identity outside of being “Oprah’s man.”

Stedman Graham and Oprah Winfrey met one another in 1986 (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood)

Elsewhere in the article, she details how she refuses to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day and jokes that when she first met the businessman, she didn’t pay that much attention to him because he was always hanging around with another woman.

The two eventually grew closer after a mutual acquaintance of theirs became sick - despite Winfrey having doubts about Graham’s intentions initially.

“I thought he was nice enough, but I wasn't that impressed. He was polite, yes, and kind. The sort of guy who sits with an ailing friend. Tall and handsome, for sure,” she wrote. “But actually too handsome, I thought, to be interested in me.I figured he must be a player.”

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Eventually though, when Graham broke things off with his then-girlfriend in 1986, Winfrey was won over and the rest is history.

While she went on to become a well-known media mogul and actor, appearing in films such as The Color Purple, Selma and A Wrinkle in Time, Graham made a name for himself founding and funding education-based non-profits and marketing consultancy firms such as AAD and S. Graham & Associates.